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Forget About Other People?

My good friend. She made partner in her law firm months ago. And guess what? She just quit her job. That's right. Made partner and up and quit.

I'm so proud of her.

I'm proud because she didn't like her job and she's been talking about leaving it for years. She has two young kids and has been suffering from terrible headaches for more than two years. She attended her daughter's preschool graduation and had an epiphany that went something like this: Where did the last five years go?

My friend started this job right after her daughter was born. And the last five years have blurred by. And my friend said that realization was the final straw. She gave her notice. And, yes, obviously she had the financial, existential, and emotional wherewithal to make this move.

And I am proud, and wildly supportive, of her choice but I can only suppose that not everyone is, or will be. I imagine she will face the predictable chorus of prudence, the sinister swirl of voices. I imagine, though confident, she will have moments of doubt and fear and what in the world did I just do?

And all of this has me thinking about happiness, what it is, and how much it has to do with other people. Can we only be truly happy if we drown out the oft-conflicting voices that swell around us? And is this even possible, to narrow our focus on the self when there is so much other to contend with?

I don't pretend to know. I do know one thing though: I am inspired by my friend for waking up and honoring herself and her own sense of happiness by making a bold, and in my mind beautiful, decision. These are the decisions that are never easy. But sometimes it is hard that brings the best reward.

Do you think that in order to be happy we must ignore others? Is it even possible to do this? Is the goal to only let others and their opinions affect us so much? Have you ever made a hard but worth-it personal or professional decision?

Why Not Begin?

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